The Power of Dual Language Immersion

The Thomas-Collier study examined twelve dual language immersion schools (Spanish, Mandarin, French, German, or Japanese) in six North Carolina public school districts (including Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools) over three years (2007-2010). Their findings were consistent with other, nationwide studies on the benefits of dual language immersion: 

  • Reading and math scores of students in dual language immersion programs are higher overall regardless of race/ethnicity, socioeconomic, or special education status, closing the achievement gap and equipping all children with the skills needed for success in the twenty-first century. 
  • Dual language students outscore non‐dual language students.
  • Average (English) reading scores of dual language students exceed average scores in North Carolina in each grade.
  • Students in dual language classes score significantly higher in (English) reading compared to students not in dual language classes.
  • In most cases, by middle school, dual language immersion students, regardless of subgroup, are scoring as high in Reading and Math achievement as non-dual language students at least a grade ahead of them.


According to the study: "Findings suggest that there are qualities to North Carolina’s two-way dual language programs that confer greater educational gains in Reading and Math compared to non-dual language education. Two-way dual language education may be an effective way to improve the Reading and Math scores of all North Carolina students."

Follow the links to see the study for yourself.